This morning in a Phoenix Courtroom the decision that has been predicted for months on this blog finally became a reality: Andrew Peyton Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney, was disbarred. Ending any doubts that Thomas misused the power of his office for launching attacks on his political opponents. At least for everyone except Thomas himself:
“Today, corruption has won and justice has lost,” [Andrew Thomas] said, according to the Arizona Republic. “The political witch hunt that’s just ended makes things worse by sending a chilling message to prosecutors: Those who take on the powerful will lose their livelihood.” via Arizona Republic
Isn’t the Nile a river in Africa? EJ Montini of the Arizona Republic was not impressed with Thomas’ play of the victim card, either.
You can read the entire Opinion here, its 240+ pages but has some nuggets worth reading. From the start this opinion wastes no time letting you know what they think of Mr. Thomas:
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Proverbs 12:15–17.
I think we see where this is heading…
The opinion doesn’t let up at all and then finishes strong and unequivocally:
This is the story of three unethical attorneys, Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and to a lesser extent, Rachel Alexander. This is the story of County Attorneys who did not “let justice be done,” but rather, birthed injustice after injustice. This is the story of the public trust dishonored, desecrated, and defiled. This multi-year-wreck-of-a-ride, operated by Andrew Thomas and staffed by Aubuchon and Alexander, outrageously exploited power, flagrantly fostered fear, and disgracefully misused the law. By the time Andrew Thomas resigned, with his hopes of attaining higher public office and greater public trust, his legacy lay in a smoldering heap, its smoke slowly curling skyward like a prayer for relief.
This is not your typical legal opinion fare, this is the panel making a point: don’t go after judges unless you have facts to back it up.
If you are not familiar with this case we recommend checking out this Talking Points Memo post by Nick Martin.
Last but not least there is the Phoenix New Times who have covered this story in detail from the start. Considering Thomas had the papers owners locked up in 2007 their coverage should be no surprise. Paul Rubin has a nice write up today about some heros emerging from the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office.
Of course Thomas et all have 10 days to file an appeal which we are sure they will, stay tuned.
Here is a list of out posts covering this ordeal: